At some point, many people experience the frustrating reality of moths in the home. Whether it's an open hole in your favorite sweater or an avalanche of flying insects when you open a pantry, moths can be an expensive and uncomfortable intrusion.
Unfortunately, they can also be laborious and take a long time to eliminate.
What causes moths in the house?
As with any type of rodent or insect, eliminating the problem often involves determining the method of entry.
"Like other insects, moths can enter the house through broken screens or cracks in window and door frames," said Angela TODcker, technical services manager at Terminix.
"Clothes moths can enter homes by hiding in clothing, furniture or household items purchased at second-hand stores, garage sales or consignment shops; and pantry moths can enter through eggs put in foods like flour, cereals, beans and dried fruits, "Tucker added.
How to get rid of a moth infestation?
When it comes to treating a moth infestation, it depends on the type of moth.
"If your house is infested with clothes moths, for example, clean the house on a regular and thorough basis, including vacuuming in drawers and cabinets, on and around upholstered furniture and even along baseboards." said Tucker.
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Identifying moth species and addressing the infestation can be confusing. It is always better to call a pest control provider who can assess the situation and implement a plan to address it.
When it comes to a moth infestation, people often see adult moths first, but real pests are small, white and often hidden larvae in food sources.
"In the case of clothing moths, cleaning the appropriate areas, such as carpets and / or cloth surfaces, is essential to eliminate the larvae," Tucker said.
For pantry moths, the main focus area should be shelves that contain infested food.
"There are several DIY products available for cleaning, but when used improperly or in a badly identified pest, owners can create moments of" success "followed by a resurgence of the pest," Tucker said.
This can often lead to frustration and loss of elements that can be damaged by the larvae before being treated successfully.
"Through proper inspection, a pest control company can determine what is infested, provide instructions on how to treat those items (dry, freeze or throw them away) and provide guidance on treatment options," Tucker said.
"Depending on the species, there are multiple pheromone lures (chemical essences that attract adults) that can be used to collect adult moths for identification and / or dispose of infested items. Infested foods or cloth items must still being cleaned by the owner as pesticides are not registered for these areas, "Tucker said.
How do we get rid of larvae?
Here is the rude part: even when all the moths are gone, they can leave eggs, and that can cause the problem to come back.
"Wash and dry contaminated clothing, or freeze it for seven to 10 days, to remove the larvae," Tucker said. "If pantry moths are the problem, on the other hand, discard open boxes of dry food like cereals; and store the ingredients in airtight, durable glass or plastic containers to help mitigate larval pests."
"Washing the shelves with a standard cleaning agent before putting food back on the shelves can be effective in dealing with Indian food moths," Tucker added. "I recommend using a vacuum cleaner to clean carpets and a duster to remove dust and pet hair, which can help remove larvae from the moth of clothing."
Cleaning is essential to physically remove larvae from the environment.
How can you get rid of the smell of mothballs at home?
Mothballs are a key solution to keep moths away.
"The mothballs are not preventive, but they are a killer agent, so they will work as long as the product continues to release gases," Tucker said. "It is important that items that are stored with mothballs are in a tightly closed container where vapors cannot easily escape."
Fumes can kill moths, larvae and adult eggs, but it is essential to use them correctly.
"A home remedy to address the smell of mothballs in clothes is to soak affected items in equal parts of water and vinegar, although, like most home remedies, this has not been scientifically proven," Tucker said. "If you prefer not to use mothballs, you can try using storage units made of eastern red cedars, which can help repel the larvae of young moths," Tucker said.